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Neuroepidemiology. 1995;14(3):101-9.

Education and occupation as risk factors for dementia: a population-based case-control study.

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Istituto Nazionale di Riposo e Cura per Anziani, Macerata, Italy.


To further investigate the putative associations between education and dementia and between occupation and dementia, we conducted a population-based case-control study. Cases were all subjects affected by dementia ascertained through a prevalence survey conducted in the municipality of Appignano, Macerata Province, Italy. For each case (n = 48), we randomly selected 2 population controls residing in the same municipality and matched for age and sex (n = 96). Information regarding exposures was collected by nonmedical personnel during the first contact for the prevalence survey. Although we found a striking trend toward decreasing prevalence with increasing education, this association was suggestive but not significant after age and sex adjustment at case-control analyses (odds ratio for illiterates = 1.4; 95% CI 0.6-3.1). In contrast, we found a significant association between manual principal lifetime occupation and dementia using both unadjusted and adjusted analyses (odds ratio = 2.9; 95% CI 1.2-7.4). Our findings suggest that, although education and occupation are related, occupation is a stronger indicator of risk than education.

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